Monthly Archives: July 2011

Look at them grow…

I’m kind of stunned. In the last few weeks, there’s been some surprising backbone in the world of politics. The Irish government has given two fingers to the Catholic Church over the findings of the Cloyne Report, and Australian PM Julia Gillard actually used the phrase “don’t write crap” when talking about journalistic ethics.

It seems that all of our colonies/illegally held dictatorships have grown up and now have pretty epic governments of their own. Why can’t we have more of that principled politics, rather than the spineless crap we get over here? It’s like we showed them a clunky old desktop computer a few years ago, and now they’re showing their doddering old parents how to use their mobile phones.

… Except for America, who emancipated himself and enlisted in the army at 16; now he barely writes home, and has had an endless string of skanky girlfriends, none of whom we can approve of.

Seeing what sticks to the science wall

I sat down earlier on today and did something I haven’t done for a while: I read the paper. Now, I’ll be honest, the only times I ever used to regularly read the paper was when the Guardian still did their ‘Life’ supplement, and when I wanted to read the comics.* But I was saddened to see that the paper had almost no science articles.

This shit will not fly!

So when I saw an article about stem cells being used to treat MS, I snatched at it, and read it all the way through. Then I read it again. Read the rest of this entry

Ghana is a very queer place

In Ghana, if you don’t find members of the opposite sex attractive (or don’t find them exclusively attractive) you are apparently an enemy of the state.

That must make for some truly epic getaways through the gay parts of town!

And suddenly, a car piles through from the right, followed by the cops, all leaning out of their windows and firing. Then they all go off a bridge and land in an ocean of pink or something, I don't know!

On a serious note – that is a fucking evil piece of legislation. Oh, and guess who’s behind it – the CHRISTIAN Council of Ghana. Figures!

Back to a comedic note again, that’s a great typo at the bottom of the page. (Boldness quite clearly my own.)

Abotsie said laws outlawing “unnatural canal knowledge” in the Ghanaian criminal code were ambiguous and had not been defined to mean homosexuality, and it was wrong for politicians to be telling police how to carry out their duties.

Damn right it’s not condemning homosexuality – it’s about cracking down on the real threat: VETS!

Two steps forward for man; one giant leap back for congress.

First the space shuttle, now this – America’s* getting itself a bad track record of failing to maintain it’s (admittedly rather awesome and groundbreaking) steps into space.

The Hubble Space Telescope has had its final MOT, and that’s fine: nothing lasts forever, not even GIANT FREAKING SPACESHIPS ORBITING THE EARTH UNMANNED. But what is most definitely under fire is the hubble’s successor, the James Webb Telescope. Laurence M Krauss puts it a lot better than I will, but here it is in it’s condensed form.

“This successor to the phenomenally successful Hubble Space Telescope will peer back to the period of ‘first light’, when the first stars and galaxies formed in the universe giving new insights into exotica from the first giant black holes, to the mysterious dark matter and dark energy that dominate the dynamics of the universe. After billions have been spent, the House Appropriations Committee has recommended terminating the project because it is over budget and has had management issues. [However] cost over-runs and management issues… gave a democratic congress an excuse to kill the program during hard economic times.”

Shit.

Even excluding the obvious reasons why this is a bad idea, as a physicist (or at least an ex-physicist), I can tell you that for all the high profile badass going on at CERN, our main source of observable particle interactions is space itself: we literally don’t have the energy and resources to do most of the research we need, but nebulae and quasars do. And our eye on these interactions comes, in great part, from space telescopes like Hubble and James Webb.

Also, if we ever want to go up there, we need to be able to put up huge space stations and look at what we’re doing through them. So it’s important that we keep our foot in the interstellar door.

James Webb hasn’t fully been canceled yet – merely put “under review”. There’s still hope!

 

* As we seem to live on their coat-tails for this kind of thing, then by extension our own space program too.

Ask, and you shall receive.

I found out last night that Non Stamp Collector has a new video. Frabjous day! And it’s in two parts. Even frabjouser!

However, it was late, so I’ve only just now got around to watching part 2, and what do I find? A little footnote asking me to share this with you. How could I say no?

 

Warning: video contains a literal interpretation of how Noah’s Ark would go down, so expect numerical answers as to how much rain would have to fall in 40 days and 40 nights to cover the Earth’s highest mountain, and a similar volume of irony.

 

 

Isn’t it great not having to take that entirely literally?

…and I was like “Glen Beck, are you crazy?”

I’m so glad that Beck (Glenn the Crazy Right Wing Tea Party* Conspiracy Theorist, I mean, not those other imposters) has decided to reappear in the news for being a moron. I missed him…

Or not. I actually think life was better without this stupidity.

“There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler youth, or, whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics. Disturbing,”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person stick their foot in their mouth so thoroughly. You see, political camps for kids ARE disturbing.

Oh look, the Tea Party have political summer camps for kids.

Specifically, the branch that he is aligned with. THAT HE STARTED!

One must wonder if he just has the  memory of a goldfish, or if he’s doing this on purpose.

The video is here, although it’s just a short clip

And here it is again, in full this time.

As a side note, as I was considering writing this very post, Ed Brayton got there first.** In true, gentlemanly fashion, then, I must urge you to look at his post too.

— EDIT —

And Pharyngula too. He really doesn’t need a link, but here he is.

* What? TV Tropes no longer has a trope for strawman political? What madness is this?

** Fuck his being more timely than me!!! [beat] Glad I managed to hold that profanity back ’til the footnotes.

The Hang of Music: 12 Oz Review

I’m not going to open this review with any bad puns. None at all. Besides, I’m clutching at straws to think what kinds of horrible joke I might make.

Anyway, after a monumental album such as The Wall, I have to follow up with a band that everyone knows and loves, right? That’s the only plan that makes sense, right? Nope, I’m gonna go with “Transnational Speedway League”, the oddly titled debut album of a band called Clutch, that a good friend of mine (you know who you are!) recommended to me. Screw you, good sense!

Read the rest of this entry

The Hang of Music: Writing On The Wall

Terrible puns notwithstanding, I thought that, as I am celebrating my 1 month birthday, I would attempt something massive. And Pink Floyd’s Wall has been built far too high to not try and climb it.

Let’s break it down, then – bit by bit.

Read the rest of this entry

Watchmen: Abridged

Man, I got into this blogging thing **years** too late. Almost exactly 2 years. 2 years and a few months.

Because this is hilarious!

This is the review, and follow up post, of “Watchmen” by a woman called Debbie Schlussel, a blogger in … (checks blog)… America (hmm, there’s a surprise) who did not like Watchmen, in film or graphic novel* form… Yeah, I think I got that right, she **didn’t** like them. I’m not going to dissect them, partly because I can’t be bothered, partly becasue it hardly seems worth it considering how long ago this was written, but mostly because the irony of a left wing “liberal” who enjoyed that comic dissecting her dissection of left wing liberals who enjoy that comic and their idiotic love of the work, and then for me to call her an idiot… The irony of that is far too great for me to ever comprehend.

No, instead I’m just going to quote some of her posts on the matter and entirely unrelated tropes. Read the rest of this entry

Case in point.

Yay, I’m already getting spam from idiots!

After writing a brief message clarifying my position on lifts, I expected that people would read it, understand, and move on. So I was surprised when I checked my comments and found this hiding in the spam. This is the reason why I have a comment filter on.

I am bringing this to your attention because to call this commenter retarded would be an insult to the mentally handicapped. This is beyond stupid, it’s infantile, and infants get berated when they do wrong. And this is so very wrong.

So when you read this, bear in mind that I am not publicising this site. Fuck that shit! The links, as they stand, have been changed to fit where I think they should go. If you want to check out the inanity of this post, then you will have to paste them into your address bar manually. Consider it a tax on stupidity; or, more accurately, a mere fraction of the effort it would take to drag the intellect of a normal person down to this sort of hateful misogynistic crap. So, if you want to look, beware: HERE BE DRAGONS.

Read the rest of this entry